We aimed the Tug towards Grafton and set off. The highway was easy going and it wasn't long before we were cruising along admiring the scenery as it rolled passed. Casino was billed as the "Beef Capital of Australia" and Eileen and I were both amazed by the number of properties along the highway that were for sale... obviously no money in beef and we couldn't help wondering if this was just another example of the Coles/Woolworths price squeeze on farmers as they vie for bigger profits for their shareholders (how dumb we are. there is no free lunch - someone has to pay).
It wasn't long before we arrived on the outskirts of Grafton and we were lucky to be there at Jacaranda Festival time. The sight is breathtaking to say the least. No matter which way you look there is a sea of purple and the tree lined streets are simply impressive. The towns forefathers certainly got this right when they decided to plant so many of these beautiful trees... I'm sure that this picture does not do the justice that seeing in person would.
By now we were looking for a service station as the reserve light had just come on, so into the next one we saw along the way. $1.60 a litre but what can you do.
As this is our shakedown trip we are learning a few lessons along the way. Diesel is nearly always cheaper where you are than where you are going and you should never depart on a half filled tank.
Another issue we have is that so often we would love to stop at some of the towns we drive through to have a look around and break our journey a bit but when you are pushing 14 meters in length there is often just nowhere to park so you just keep going. Wouldn't it be nice if towns had a Van stop at the beginning of their business center. I'm sure some do, we just haven't seen one yet.
Anyway, back on the highway, we both agree that we must come back here one day to have a better look around. Grafton to Woolgoolga was slightly better road wise than our previous stint and Murphys Law came to mind as I realized that every time we came to a divided road there was no one close enough to pass us but by the time we got to the end of the passing lane sure enough they would loom up in the mirror just as I had to put the indicator on and pull over in front of them.
The turn off for Woolgoolga soon came up and we slowed our pace and took in the township while looking out for our destination - Woolgoolga Lakeside Holiday Park.
There is nothing quite like the smell of the sea air (except perhaps the mountain air), and we quickly set up camp in order to have a big lunch as all the driving had left us both starving.